Greece this year dropped another six places in the rankings of 144 countries from 90th place to 96th in the Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, released by the World Economic Forum this week.
Greece remains the lowest-ranked country of the European Union and lags behind Turkey (43rd), Kazakhstan (51st), Ukraine (73rd), Cambodia (85th), Albania (89th) and Argentina (94th).
According to the report, Greece, in the context of the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, continues to fall in the macroeconomic environment pillar, dropping to “rock bottom” 144th position this year.
Similarly, Greece’s financial markets are assessed more poorly than in the past, down to 132nd from 110th last year, showing particularly low confidence on the part of investors.
The evaluation of public institutions (e.g., government efficiency, corruption, undue influence) continues to suffer and is ranked a low 111th overall.
The report noted that another major area of concern was the country’s “inefficient” labor market (133th), which continues to constrain Greece’s ability to emerge from the crisis, highlighting the importance of recent efforts to increase the retirement age and increase labor market flexibility.
The report underlined that Greece has a number of strengths on which it can build (such as a well-educated workforce) to overcome the present difficulties.
“With the correct growth-enhancing reforms, there is every reason to believe that Greece will improve its competitiveness in the coming years,” the World Economic Forum report concluded.
This year’s Global Competitiveness Report findings showed that Switzerland topped the overall rankings for the fourth consecutive year.
Singapore remained in second position with Finland, in third position, overtaking Sweden (4th).
These and other Northern and Western European countries dominated the top 10 with the Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom respectively ranked 5th, 6th and 8th. The United States (7th), Hong Kong (9th) and Japan (10th) completed the top 10.
The Global Competitiveness Report’s competitiveness ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). Defining competitiveness as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country, GCI scores are calculated by drawing together public and private data around 12 key categories – the pillars of competitiveness – that together make up a comprehensive picture of a country’s competitiveness.